The Birds and the Bees and Everything Between (my knees)

TV’s taught me a lot about life. I’ve learned that heroes always escape at the last second. If you work for the Secret Service, the FBI, or any other law enforcement agency you have a high chance of spending several years with crazy sexual tension between you and your super hot partner. And that writers will stretch realism for convenience, as evidenced by the six people who apparently never kept their New York City apartments locked.

I like paying attention to how TV shows portray certain demographics that I fall into–single white female, post-grad hot mess, writer, New York City native (I definitely identify with my NYC years–not my Jersey years).

There is one particular demographic I fall into that I’m always fascinated by when it’s put on TV. Community described it as being really rare, like a unicorn. Glee said it meant that I was naive and a bit frigid.

What’s rare, naive, and cold? I’m talking, of course, about being a virgin.

BUT WAIT, before anyone freaks out about how I’m going to talk about NOT having sex, I do feel the need to have the disclaimer. Summer and I regularly talk about boys, dates, making out, sex, and Cosmo articles, and we have made two polar opposite decisions on this. If my roomie can feel comfortable talking with me about sex, I hope you will too. This is my own personal choice, and I don’t expect others to share it. Just respect it. And, sadly, that respect is what was missing this week from an otherwise excellent episode of Glee.

Apparently it's more acceptable to act all hot and bothered in front of students than to accept waiting for sex as a real, mature decision.

Let me start off by saying that one of the main points of the Glee episode, that teenagers should be educated about sex, is something I COMPLETELY agree with. I’m not one of those people who think we should teach abstinence only. I think we need to have well-rounded sex education that includes all choices. I thought the sex talk that Kurt’s dad gave him was great, validating both who he is as a person and the choices he’ll make [If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and YouTube it, or read this article by Mandi Bierly ].

Best scene of the show, by far.

My parents are pretty shy people, and I never got a sex talk. Wait, maybe I did. I remember some sort of awkward conversation with my mom, but I don’t remember the two sentences that we exchanged about it. I learned about sex through my friends, media, sex ed classes, and Cosmo articles. Is this the best way to learn about sex? Probably not. Does it mean I’m naive, cold, and frigid? Um, no. And guess what, Glee writers, I KNOW what Afternoon Delight is.

Not only am I informed about afternoon delight, I would NEVER be caught in that skirt. EVER.

People make the decision not to have sex for lots of reasons. Some do it for emotional reasons, some health reasons. I have several reasons for not having sex right now, but the main one, the one that trumps them all, is spiritual. God says not to have sex before marriage, and since He’s God, I trust that He’s got a good reason. This is an incredibly personal decision, and I don’t hold any non-Christians, and I’m pretty generous with Christians too, to this decision at all. And most of my discussions about sex don’t even delve into the spiritual side of things because I’m talking with people to who that’s not applicable. That’s just my main reason for my choice.

But I have to ask–why is my decision not valid? Why are people threatened by people who’ve made the decision to abstain? Why are we called naive, frigid, repressed? I ain’t got no respect, and honestly, it gets me fired up. Why is it that you can choose one thing, and I another, but I’m scorned for my decision? My relationships aren’t stifled because we haven’t had sex. I am not unaffectionate or unloving or cold with a boy because I choose not to have sex with him. And I’m not a prude. I still love making out. I’m rare like a freaking unicorn, and instead of thinking that makes me a freak, I think it makes me more awesomely me.

I cannot wait to have sex [you guys picked up on that, right? I’m not staying a virgin FOREVER! Holy heaven, that is not the goal!]. One of my fears in life is dying before I have sex. But I want to have sex with my husband and my husband only. It’s going to be awesome. And I’m not going to try to convince anyone to make the same choice I have. Just give me the same respect that I give everyone else.

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#18 Don’t Agree on Anything–Including the State of your Relationship

Once upon a time there was a lovely girl named Selena. Selena had a big heart and a strong character and, of course, like all heroines, smoking hot too. Selena worked at a research lab, trying to help scientists and teachers and occupational therapists better understand autism. I’m not saying she was Ma Theresa. I mean, she worked at a RESEARCH lab, and sometimes very late at night they would–well, that’s not pertinent.

One day Selena was giving a lecture to a group of teachers about the newest discoveries in autism research. At the end of the lecture, a ruggedly handsome and smolderingly vulnerable man approached her. His name was Justin, and though he wasn’t a teacher, he was an architect who had just returned from three years building houses in war torn Uganda, his newborn nephew had autism, and he wanted to be as informed as he could be so as to provide his nephew with the best support he could. Selena’s soft heart was touched, and she offered to meet Justin again for coffee to give him more information.

It did not take long for the relationship to turn romantic. Justin persistently but non-stalkerishly pursued Selena, taking her out to dinner, sending her flowers, texting with sweet excitement about their dates. And when Justin introduced Selena to his sister’s family, and his adorable little nephew, she knew that he was falling in love with her. Also, it was good that he was into that late night stuff too.

OMG, aren't they like, SO super cute?

Selena and Justin delved into a wonderful, lovey-dovey, sickening to their friends relationship. Justin was sweet and attentive and would come over to shovel Selena’s driveway in the winter. Selena was supportive and understanding and was just naughty enough to make Justin feel like he was dating a seductress and not a slut. After two years, they moved in together.

After four more years, Selena had resorted to online auctions to ice the sore spot in her life.

Selena wanted to get married.

Some people don’t want to get married. I have opinions enough of dating and marriage, hooking up and living together, but I also hold, for the most part, that if two people agree on the state of their relationship, there’s no problem. If two people want to live together, raise children, build a home, and never get married, that’s completely their prerogative. The problem sneaks in when the two individuals want DIFFERENT things.

Whenever anyone brought marriage up to Justin, he would grunt. Not in an assenting or even noncommittal way, in a “shut-the-hell-up-no-one-gives-a-baby-panda’s-ass” way. Justin’s family had been through several divorces, and he just couldn’t see the value of marriage in today’s transient culture. And because Selena was level-headed and mostly reasonable, she didn’t push or manipulate. She loved Justin and respected his opinions and only faked a pregnancy once.

She thought he was going to propose that night. He just sang her some dumb song.

But now she was in her late 30s, with a man she loved but who didn’t share her life dreams, and she had to make a choice–stay with Justin, a dreamboat in a fantasy river, or end it and look for a lover who wanted the same life she did.

Ok, so, the story of Selena and Justin may not be exactly accurate, but I do know a couple who has been together for over five years, and the guy has zero interest in proposing–not because he doesn’t have enough money or because he thinks he’s too young or because he has something else he wants to accomplish first. He just has no intention of getting married. And he doesn’t want children. Ever. And my friend is caught–stay with a guy she loves who won’t marry her or move on.

Here’s the problem, and this may seem a little harsh, but I’m just going to say it–Justin is never going to wake up one day and realize he wants to marry Selena. For the most part, people resist change. And if Justin is comfortable–if he LIKES the state of his relationship–he’s not going to spontaneously become interested in matrimony and shared names. So for Selena to hang around, hoping that one day his eyes will be opened to the beauty of legally forever, is stupid.

She has three options–

1. Stay with him. If Selena decides she loves Justin more than her own dreams of marriage and babies. And that is totally cool–if she REALLY decides she wants Justin more than her own family. But Selena does want a family. Really really badly. And usually, when we sacrifice our dreams for another, seeds are planted. Resentment. Frustration. And sadness. If Selena stays with Justin, it’s not a compromise. It’s a complete surrender.

2. Give him an ultimatum. This is dumb. If he proposes, he’s only doing it because she forced him into it, and that just seems… bad. If he doesn’t propose, either they break up or she sticks with him, her bluff called and everyone knowing it.

3. Leave. Just leave. Just tell him, “Hey, I’ve love you, but I know that what you want and what I want are different. And I need a relationship with a guy who wants what I want.” And then it’s over.

Selena compensates for her lack of an engagement ring with other obnoxious jewelry.

Yes, it will suck, but if Justin is going to recognize the value of marriage, it’s going to be because he lost a girl he wanted to be with forever. And I’m not saying that he will. Door #3 is a risk–Justin may never connect the sadness of the breakup with his inability to commit. And it’s very unlikely that if he DOES change, that he’ll pursue Selena again. The most likely best case scenario is that, by Selena dumping Justin, the next time he’s with a girl who he wants to love forever, he’ll let her know. In every way possible. He’ll take the chance with her and risk his love on marriage.

And Selena, the wonderfully chic, awesomely cool girl that she is, will meet an guy of comparative character, who’ll want to give her everything she’s dreamed of.